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“You are close, Tommy. Just hold on for a little longer.”

Those are the only words echoing in his head as he sits against the wall in the dark alley with one hand presses against the gaping bullet wound in his side while his other hand is clutching tight around an oval metal plate. Beyond the alley are bullets flying, people screaming and running, and chaos.

He closes his eyes and tries to focus on his breathing and Sara, whose death he has just witnessed minutes before crawling into the alley. They were spending the day strolling about the city. She was holding the flower he had just given her in her hands just as a pack of madmen suddenly ran through the street shooting at people. Two bullets landed in her back while one landed at his side and another in his leg. She died instantly while he had been slowly bleeding out.

He opens his trembling hand, revealing the metal plate. It is the thing she shoved into his hands seconds before she died. He stares at the words and cries. It’s like she knew. How?

He rests his head against the wall while his grip around her last-second gift tightens again. He closes his eyes, grits his teeth, and focuses on his last breaths. He thinks about her and only her. He thinks of the time when they were walking in the park and all of a sudden, she picked a dandelion off the ground, told him to make a wish and blow on the dandelion. He thinks of the poems and letters they’ve exchanged and all the bike rides around town.

He opens his eyes just a slit and sees her. She is fine and uninjured. “Sara?” He says weakly.

She bends down and caresses his hair. “Shh, don’t talk. It’ll be over in a minute. Just focus on a happy memory.” So he does. He keeps his eyes on her while remembering their first date when they decided to go to the park and play on the swings. “Let these be the last words you hear,” Sara bends and whispers into his ears, “you’re home.”

This story was originally published on August 3, 2015

Written for MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie Writing Prompt Challenge.


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